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Posts Tagged ‘Drury’

You’ve heard all of the complaints:

  • The Rangers can’t score!
  • They have so much talent (allegedly) but their offense is stagnant and their power play is putrid.
  • They are a team of second-fiddles being paid first-fiddle money.

And the retorts?

  • Renney is a defense-first coach.
  • This team will win with solid goaltending and solid defense.
  • Drury and Gomez might not score 25 goals, but they add so much on the defensive end (and gosh, Drury is just soooo clutch!)

Well, the team that gave up 10 goals to Dallas was absolutely abysmal.  At one point, Joe Micheletti even called out the Rangers for too much stick-checking and not enough body-checking.  Welcome to the 2008-2009 season Joe!  I’ve only been saying that all freakin’ year.  If Joe notices it, it has to be reallllly egregious.

And that was the effort the Rangers put forth after stinking out the joint on Graves night?  THAT was the best they could muster after Renney put the team through a “wake UP people!” puck-less practice??

You could see it in the effort.  You could see it in the body language.  This team has quit on Renney.  Let’s hope they haven’t quit on the season.

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aacg015chris-drury-with-stanley-cup-6-9-01-photofile-postersThe consensus has been that if the Rangers were to sign Mats Sundin, they would move around spare parts (Prucha, Fritsche, Kalinin, etc.) and/or a big-name blueliner like Rozsival or Redden to make room for the big Swede.

Now, according to Adrian Dater at the Denver Post, the Rangers might trade their captain, Chris Drury.

Here’s one thing I’m hearing from people in the know: The Rangers are so intent on getting Mats Sundin that they may well trade Chris Drury to make room.

I would not be happy about this.  The other players, well, here’s my rundown:

  • Prucha: I would miss the little guy, but I’d be OK with it.  My sister would not be (She says, “If they trade Prucha I hope they lose every game the rest of the season!”  Uh, thanks Barry Melrose.)
  • Fritsche: Meh.
  • Kalinin/Redden: good riddance/peace out
  • Rozsival: we had some good times, but we’ve hit a rough patch lately, and maybe it’s time we go our separate ways.

But Drury?!  NO!  Put aside the fact that Drury might be the most only clutch player on this team.  (See Saturday’s shootout goal for the latest example).  Yes, his goal scoring may be down so far this year.   BUT, if the Rangers think they can get rid of his playmaking, defense, and heart… they are sorely mistaken.

This would be a big mistake.  I mean, Sundin is no spring chicken (whatever that means).  We’re talking about a 38-year-old power forward.  For the Rangers, this is a guy who is more likely to be the 2nd coming of Pavel Bure, Eric Lindros, or Wayne Gretzky.  Great players at one time, sure, but they were all just slightly better than average “the-sun-is-setting-on-my-career” players once they came to Broadway.

The Rangers should be happy to get Sundin, but should not be willing to part with Chris Drury.

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The Rangers freed up some room on their cap by waiving Rissmiller.  (Ideally for the Rangers, nobody else will claim him, and he will end up in Hartford for the season.)

I don’t know about everyone else, but I’d much rather see Brendan Shanahan skating along side Drury and Naslund than a constantly rotating winger group of Prucha, Fritsche, and Rissmiller.

Now, if the Rangers would just sign the guy already.

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Take a look at the Rangers projected roster for 2008-2009.  The top 3 lines and the defense are pretty much set, but there seem to be too many forwards.

Zherdev-Gomez-Naslund
Prucha-Drury-Dawes
Callahan-Dubinsky-Sjostrom
Voros-Fritsche/Rissmiller-[Anisimov?]
Hollweg/[Byers?]-Betts-Orr/[Moore?]

Redden-Staal
Rozsival-Girardi
Mara-Kalinin-[Sanguinetti?]

By my calculations the Rangers have an excess of 3 NHL forwards plus 3 more NHL-caliber forwards currently in Hartford.  Because of this, it might be a good idea to make a salary-clearing trade for draft picks.   It’s safe to say that the Rangers still have interest in signing a proven goal-scorer either during the off-season or before the trade deadline next year.  If the Rangers can add some cap space to the $3.3 million they currently have, they would be in the running to make a play for a top-quality winger.

 

Update: Forgot about Kalinin. Thanks to the commenter “Jagr”.

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Let’s go through a projection of how the Rangers roster might shape up:

Zherdev-Gomez-[Jagr or some UFA]
Dawes-Drury-Callahan
Sjostrom-Dubinsky-Prucha
Hollweg-Betts-Orr
Fritsche-Rissmiller-Voros
Shanahan?

Rozsival-Staal
Redden-Girardi
Pock?-Strudwick?-Sanguinetti?

The Rangers have $14.5 million in cap space but that number does not include Dawes, Sjostrom, Fritsche, Rissmiller, Voros, or Strudwick.

Assuming the Rangers will spend roughly $4 or $5 million between those players, they will have about $9 or $10 million to spend on Jagr, Shanahan, and any UFA’s the Rangers might desire.

That doesn’t leave much wiggle room.  Decision time for Slats.

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Here once again is the definitive series preview, brought to you by a joint effort of the creators of this blog. The Rangers posted a 5-3 record against the Penguins this season. Can Henrik Lundqvist keep Sid the Kid and his cronies from punching the Rangers out of the playoffs? The only way to find out is to keep reading.

It’s on the long side, so click the “more” link below to continue reading.

(more…)

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Just a few snippets of Rangers reactions today at the morning skate.

  • Chris Drury, who had skated over to Avery while he was face-guarding Brodeur, explained that what he said to Avery during the incident (see youtube clip at 2:15) was that he was trying to get Avery to keep his stick down. “I didn’t want to lose the 5 on 3, you don’t want it all of a sudden, to be 4 on 3. He was just trying to distract him.” He also added, “It’s hockey. Not moral or philosophical. It wasn’t a rule. Now it’s a rule.”
  • Henrik Lundqvist discussed how effective that tactic would be to prevent the goalie from seeing the puck, and said it was “smart”. Backup Stephen Valiquette, on the other hand, did not approve.
  • Jaromir Jagr, in his usual humor, seemed to be amused by Avery’s antics, and said they were cool. He did, however, express his wish that Avery would have saved the tactic for later in the playoffs.
  • Brandon Dubinsky didn’t speak much about the actual incident, but reiterated to the reporters present that Avery will be key to how far the Rangers go in the playoffs. “He’s one of those guys who you can count on every night. He brings that energy, intensity, and effort that you need to win on a daily basis.”

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Now that’s the Chris Drury we’ve all been waiting for.

Clutch. Goal. 3rd period. — Let’s see if he can keep some of that magic for a playoff run.

And Nigel Dawes is turning into a shootout ace in the hole. That might prove to be useful down the stretch.

All in all, it was a huge win for the Rangers. More than that, to score a late goal and ensure at least a point in the game, the Rangers kept hope alive for an Atlantic Division title. Check out the standings here.

By the way, the Rangers are 17-6-1 vs. the Atlantic Division and 38-19-7 against the entire Eastern Conference.  Why are they a middling team then?  They have a 1-7-2 record vs. the Western Conference.  Ouch.  My very high-level analysis:  this bodes well for the playoffs, at least until they have to play a West team…

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After a three day break, the Rangers get back to work tonight in Carolina. The Hurricanes are playing pretty well going 7-2-1 in their last 10 and 3-1-1 in their last 5.

Two of the four newest Rangers will be in the lineup tonight. Fredrik Sjostrom will take Colton Orr’s (chest pain) place on the 4th line and Christian Backman will skate in Paul Mara’s (head) place next to Marc Staal.

The last two times the Rangers have had a long break, the first team they played after was the Sabres. The Rangers won both games (5-1 and 4-3). Before that, their last long break came during the All-Star break. They played the Hurricanes and lost 3-1. The Rangers are 6-2-2 in their last 10 and 4-0-1 in their last 5 with that “one” being the game against Montreal.

The lineup should look something like this:

Avery-Dubinsky-Jagr

Dawes-Gomez-Shanahan

Straka-Drury-Callahan

Hollweg-Betts-Sjostrom

Rozsival-Malik

Tyutin-Girardi

Staal-Backman

Lundqvist

Petr Prucha is “good to go” but coach Tom Renney says, “we want to give our new guys a chance to play.”

Maybe Sunday against Philly?

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The Rangers play the Sabres tonight in Buffalo.   The last time these teams met was 1 week ago at Madison Square Garden, and resulted in a 5-1 Rangers victory.

How are the Rangers going to play as a team after suffering that devastating loss in Montreal?  They’ve had a few days off to stew about it, and while the quotes from the players have been optimistic, it’s something that is not easily forgotten.

This is Chris Drury’s first game in Buffalo as a Ranger.  You can expect lots of booing when he has the puck.

This should be a tightly contested game.  Both teams want to get 2 points, and both teams will be trying to win in regulation.  Now I’m off to watch the Duke game.

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